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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 240236
Last updated: 7 May 2021
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Date:17-AUG-2020
Time:18:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter AS 350B2 Ecureuil
Owner/operator:Aberdeen Helicopters Ltd
Registration: C-FAHC
MSN: 2898
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:near Eskay Creek Mine, Iskut River, 45nm NNW of Stewart, BC -   Canada
Phase: En route
Nature:External load operation
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: TSB Canada
Narrative:
On 17 August 2020, the Aberdeen Helicopters Ltd. Eurocopter AS 350B2 helicopter was conducting visual flight rules (VFR) operations in support of a mineral exploration project. The pilotís tasks began at 06:52 with flying the day shift crew to their drill sites on Nickel Mountain, British Columbia (BC), and returning the night shift crew to Garibaldi Camp located 9 nautical miles (NM) northwest of the drilling area. The pilot then picked up 2 workers from the camp, dropped them off on the mountain, and, at approximately 07:50, landed at a location known as the Volcano staging area, approximately 1 NM southeast of the drilling site at Pad 27.
As the sole occupant, the pilot removed the helicopterís external storage basket, fuelled the aircraft, and attached a 75-foot longline in preparation for the next task, moving a dismantled drill rig from Pad 27 to Pad 7, approximately 1400 feet to the northwest. The first set of lifts between the pads began at approximately 08:00 and continued until approximately 08:42, when the pilot returned to the Volcano staging area to refuel.
The pilot returned to Pad 27 at approximately 08:54 to resume the longline operation to move the drill rig. During one of the 11 lifts, the pilot communicated that he would have to hover in place due to reduced visibility before he could continue with the lift. The visibility improved and the rig transfer continued. At approximately 10:06, the pilot returned to the Volcano staging area to refuel.
At 10:22, the pilot returned to Pad 27 to move the last piece of the drill rig. After the drill foreman had hooked the load up to the helicopterís longline, the pilot communicated that poor weather was approaching and that he was unable to take the load. The load was disconnected and the helicopter hovered in place for approximately 1 minute. At 10:24, the pilot backed away from the drill pad downslope (southwestward) at a ground speed of between 1 and 2 knots and stopped approximately 200 feet away. He then moved back toward the pad, and the drill crew asked if they should remove the longline. The pilot said it was not necessary, and at 10:25:40, he turned and began to accelerate on a southwestward track. Heavy rain began at this time.

Over the next 30 seconds, global positioning system (GPS) data showed that the helicopter continued southwest and accelerated to a ground speed of approximately 70 knots at GPS altitudes of between 5600 feet above sea level (ASL) and 5500 feet ASL. At 10:26:02, the pilot released the longline from the helicopter onto the hillside about 800 feet west of Pad 27 and, 9 seconds later, the helicopter began to track to the right in a turn at approximately 5į per second. The change in altitude during this turn was less than 100 feet. The turn continued until just after 10:26:27, when the helicopter collided with terrain.
The pilot was fatally injured. The aircraft was destroyed in the collision and a post-impact fire.

Sources:

https://bc.ctvnews.ca/helicopter-crash-in-remote-area-near-northern-b-c-mine-reportedly-fatal-1.5069471
https://ckpgtoday.ca/2020/08/18/helicopter-crash-north-of-stewart-involved-helicopter-from-prince-george/
https://www.bclocalnews.com/news/pilot-dead-after-helicopter-crash-at-nickel-mountain-in-northern-b-c-company-confirms/
http://aerossurance.com/helicopters/rain-refraction-mining-cfit/

https://www.aberdeenheli.com/about-aberdeen-helicopters.php
https://www.skeenaresources.com/projects/eskay-creek
https://www.garibaldiresources.com/news/2020/garibaldi-begins-drilling-at-nickel-mountain/

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: TSB Canada
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

12 Jul 2004 N91MH Maverick Helicopter Inc 0 Grand Canyon West Airport (1G4), Peach Springs, AZ sub

Location


Images:


Photo: TSB Canada


Photo: TSB Canada

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
18-Aug-2020 22:44 Geno Added
19-Aug-2020 11:43 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
22-Aug-2020 15:08 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
25-Aug-2020 11:54 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
13-Sep-2020 10:44 harro Updated [Location, Nature, Source, Damage, Narrative]
02-Mar-2021 18:33 rudy Updated [[Location, Nature, Source, Damage, Narrative]]
09-Mar-2021 20:57 harro Updated [Phase, Narrative, Category, Accident report, Photo]
09-Mar-2021 20:58 harro Updated [Photo]
02-Apr-2021 14:35 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Source]
07-May-2021 09:05 harro Updated [[Location, Source]]
07-May-2021 09:11 harro Updated [[[Location, Source]]]

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